New app allows you to earn money when you 'tompang'

New app allows you to earn money when you 'tompang'
Remember the time when you had to drop off something just because it was 'along the way'? While you were probably doing someone a favour then, you can now make some money along the way.

Everybody has been a courier at least once in their life. Remember the time when you had to drop off something just because it was 'along the way'?

This is also known as 'tompang', which is a colloquial expression for requesting a favour from someone who might be going your way.

While you were probably doing someone a favour then, you can now make some money when you help to 'tompang'.

Local startup RocketUncle aims to create a courier network where everyone can bid for job deliveries. Delivery assignments are routed to its crowd-sourced couriers, who can be anybody on its courier network.

Non-drivers can also join its fleet of couriers. Through the app, users will be prompted to submit a photo identification, register their means of travelling, preferred delivery shift, preferred delivery areas and preferred delivery days.

"I get to be my boss and make deliveries according to my own time," says Syahid Bin Sarifi, 20, a freelance RocketUncle courier who just finished his National Service and is looking for a permanent job.

Another RocketUncle courier Mustaqim, 32, who is also a sales agent, said: "It allows sales people like me to make some extra cash in between appointments.

"Using the app, I can choose the timing, pick-up and delivery location for jobs that fit between my appointments or are along the route from where I am to my next appointment."

Once your photo identification has been approved (which can take a few days), you are registered as a RocketUncle courier and effectively part of their delivery network.

"When you involve a sorting facility, you are doubling or tripling the package handling time, which slows the whole process down considerably," Mr Noam Berda, founder and CEO of RocketUncle explained.

"All items delivered by RocketUncle are picked up and delivered on the same day from one point to another without the use of a sorting facility," Mr Berda said. "This cuts out a significant amount of  handling time."

Ms Lee Su Yi, the co-founder of Ajuicery.com which sells fresh cold-pressed juices said: "To avoid compromising the freshness and quality of the juices, we need to ensure that the juices are delivered within a specific window period.

"Features such as real-time tracking and the ability to connect with our customers are very helpful in ensuring that the juices are delivered within the specified window."

Deliveries are either assigned manually on first-come-first-serve basis or automated through a combination of algorithms and criteria.

RocketUncle's prices are fixed based on the location and weight of the delivery item. A same-day delivery assignment from the central part of Singapore to the east starts at $5 for a standard 4-hour delivery service, and $7 for a premium 3-hour express delivery. This would typically cost $16 for a one-day delivery and $10 for a two-day delivery by traditional courier services. There is one drawback though: RocketUncle currently does not deliver on Sundays.

By offering customers a same-day delivery service, RocketUncle sees itself as complementing the existing next-day or multi-day delivery options provided by traditional courier companies.

Mr Berda thinks that RocketUncle benefits all parties, including delivery professionals and courier companies. The company wants the latter to take delivery jobs through its platform, and is aiming to licence its technology to courier companies.

"We are enhancing the existing model by offering technology to automate existing processes, connect networks, and create new delivery capacity," says Mr Berda.

So, will you 'tompang', for a little money?

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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